Torchlight 2 Impressions from PAX East 2012
Torchlight 2 has improved upon the original in every way.
I have always been a fan of dungeon crawlers. One of my very first PC games was the original Diablo, and I have played almost every single dungeon crawler since then. After a dozen or so attempts to switch from Diablo II, I pretty much just gave up looking for a different experience. That was until Torchlight hit in 2009. Finally I felt like there was some real competition to Diablo. There were some issues with Torchlight, and because of its lack of online play, my friends and I eventually went back to Diablo 2. Runic games were at PAX East 2012, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the much anticipated Torchlight 2.
Now I hate to keep making the comparison to Diablo, but Torchlight for me was always an alternative to Diablo, and I believe that was the case with many other gamers. Torchlight 2 is like going from the original Diablo, then switching to Diablo 2. Torchlight 2 has improved on everything from the original, and after only playing for about 30 minutes, I have fallen in love with this sequel.
Torchlight II is a dungeon crawler at heart. There will be four different classes to choose from, and each class has its own set of unique skills. There will also be a new set of pets for players to choose from, one which includes Runic’s own office dog.
Torchlight 2 has a pace that is just perfect.
For my demo I decided to pick the Berserker, an in your face brawler with special animalistic powers. The first thing I noticed after jumping into Torchlight 2 is the game’s pace. I have spent a ton of time with the Diablo 3 beta, and something that always bugged me was how slow it seemed. Torchlight 2 has a pace that can only be described as perfect. I was running around a grassy terrain, summoning some insanely powerful claws that shredded my enemies to bits.
As I was playing I couldn’t believe how fast the action was. I was constantly engaged in battle with enemies, but it was never overwhelming. Torchlight 2 does an extremely good job of placing the right enemies against you at the right time. If I was constantly surrounded by enemies, it was never an enemy that couldn’t be taken down with a few well placed skill attacks. The same goes for the larger enemies and bosses. When I was fighting larger bosses, I never was annoyed by the game spawning enemies around the boss, and I was able to focus my attacks on the big boss man. Did I mention the pace was perfect?
Not only did the game play feel extraordinarily smooth, visually it looked superb as well. After talking to the CEO for Runic, I found out the engine for Torchlight 2 hasn’t been changed, but instead has been enhanced to offer a better look and feel. Textures have a higher polygon count, which makes the game look better than before, but Runic has made sure to enhance the engine so machines with lower specs can still enjoy the game. The audio seems to be just as great as in the original Torchlight, and I’m sure Runic has will make sure sound effects sound amazing in Torchlight 2
The environments will also have some changes in Torchlight 2. There will now be a lot of outdoor areas, as well as the usual caves and dungeons players are used to seeing. This was something very similar to how Diablo 2 was designed; once again I hate to keep making this comparison. Having almost an over world with smaller dungeons underground just flows a lot easier, and it makes Torchlight 2 more enjoyable.
Torchlight 2 will also be shipping with co-op play with up to six people. This will include play over the internet, but this also includes LAN play, something that Diablo 3 will not provide. I am also excited that I can take my characters offline and still play the game. Torchlight 2 will not require your characters to be online while playing, meaning I can work on my characters when I am not able to get to an internet connection.
Oh, did I mention that Torchlight 2 will be only $19.99 when it ships sometime this summer? This is a huge plus for gamers everywhere. There is going to be a ton of game here for only twenty bucks. This will also mean that a lot more people will be able to get their hands on Torchlight 2. With such a small price tag, a lot of gamers will not think twice about picking it up.
Walking away from my Torchlight 2 demo was very difficult. I did not want to stop playing, but sadly there were a ton of people waiting in line to get their hands on the demo. To be honest I did not expect Torchlight 2 to be as polished as it is. I was floored by the quality of this title, and the fact that it will only be twenty dollars when it launches absolutely blows my mind. Everything has been improved from the original, and with the addition of online play, gamers will be playing Torchlight 2 for months after its launch. The only problem is that we will have to wait till summer to get our hands on this breathtaking title.
You can check out all of our PAX East 2012 coverage HERE.